Thursday, October 25, 2007

4 Iza Cru - I Know Ya Style / Boriqua Skinz

'95 FLAVOR IN YA EAR! 4 Iza Cru out of the 718 released on Rukus Records. They sound like young dudes; Kid Dynamite, Steve Lover, DJ Furious, and another mc.

Dope production on both sides. The first track, "I Know Ya Style" is produced by M-Tri out of Brooklyn. He's still producing and has a myspace page. The track is built around this verse, "I know your style, I've seen it before, You wear an army suit, now you think you're hardcore" from "The Shit is Real" by Fat Joe. They're calling out fake crews. Nice.

On the flip, "Boriqua Skinz" is about the type of honeys they like. No argument here. This joint is produced by Hotdog and is built around what sounds to be a a Greg Nice sample that I can't quite distinguish. Another banger that may have been given more play and shown up on a few more mixes.

At the end of "I Know Ya Style" they shout out Big Dave on the board, RNS (not sure if it's the producer), and Snagglepuss, the cat (no pun intended) that rapped on Brand Nubian's "Step Into Da Cipher" and the "All Men Are Dogs" track that had too many mc's on it

Has this crew released any other records or have you seen anything else put out by Rukus Records? I believe they're from Brooklyn. It's a nice record, yet I've found very little info. Enjoy.

4 Iza Cru - I Know Ya Style

4 Iza Cru - Boriqua Skinz

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Brother Arthur - What You Gonna Do / Year Of The "9"

Another piece of dope hip hop from the mid 90's. Brother Arthur (Arthur 4X) repping the Zulu Nation drops knowledge on both cuts over ILL production provided by himself and Chuck Chillout. On the Hip side, "What You Gonna Do," Brother Arthur urges the community to take notice what's going on in the hood, get organized and fight "the plan." Nice beat and an even better message. Real hip hop right here! On the Flip side, "Year Of The '9'" Arthur warns that the streets are more dangerous than ever. No more toe to toe or blow for blow to settle beef. Kids are packin' tools. Dope eerie sample on this. A much darker moody beat. Instantly, you'll recognize the same sample from Jeru's "Come Clean." Also, a nice Guru vocal sample, "it's a daily operation" tossed in for added flavor.

C-YA Entertainment / Nott-Us records pressed this one up. Co-production credits go to Ramon "Bro Sham" and Lionel "Big Geno" McKee for Bald Nation Production. Big Geno's the dude on the cuts. Check for a couple vocal samples that were used by DJ Premier. "Ohhhh, so that's where the sample came from."

Brother Arthur - What You Gonna Do

Brother Arthur - Year Of The "9"

Mop Top - Forever (Verbal Assault) / I'm Alright / Move Ya Body

"It's the crew with the dreadlocks called the Mop Top!" I copped this record many years ago in Savannah, GA. I remembered the name from appearances on the Stretch & Bobbito Show. This record doesn't disappoint. DOPE BEATS! Mid 90's steez. Brooklyn in the house! Released in 1996 on Break A Dawn Records. The posse joint, Forever (Verbal Assault) features Big Grei, Nine, Diablo, Freestyle & Inner Soul. KRS ONE is sampled at the end while Spin One scratches the Show & AG "Next Level" verse "showing all these corny motherfuckers what hip hop’s supposed to sound like". I couldn't agree more, Andre. Check for the nasal white guy impersonation when dude says "got white people saying 'damn right that's good flavor'."

The B-side gives ya two NOGGIN NODDERS. "I'm Alright" hits you first. The dude kickin' the second verse drops it heavy on "female savages." Spin One blesses you with another scratched hook coupled with a Slick Rick vocal sample. "Move Ya Body" is another HEATER. Again, with a scratched vocal this time sampling Biggie Smalls. When the AL Skratch sample comes in, "nobody move nobody get shot" during a verse, that's when I tend to move my body, well, raise my drink up and wave it side to side while nodding in accordance. Good stuff.

Buddha Stretch is credited with production while co-production credits on "I'm Alright" go to Caleaf Sellers and Will-Do. Many people are familiar with Break A Dawn's other releases from Ten Thieves. I personally like this record better than either of those. Anyways, enjoy the clips and judge for yourself.

Mop Top - Forever (Verbal Assault) feat. Big Grei, Nine, Diablo, Freestyle & Inner Soul.

Mop Top - I'm Alright

Mop Top - Move Ya Body

Death - Possessed By The Ouija Board

This is probably my favorite album I've picked up in the past year. Released on MOBO JOE Records in 1993. The beats and samples on this are RIDICULOUS! Pure gutter New Orleans. FOUL...and EVIL...and BASSSSSSS!!! C'mon, look at the record! There's a damn pentagram on the B side! This ain't Slayer, but it rocks! BANGIN' BEATS! Gunshots and screams everywhere. You don't wanna play this around your parents. Was that Tom Scott's, "Today?" Was that Pete Rock & CL Smooth? Was that Rodney O & Joe Cooley? Was that sample from a Lucio Fulci horror flick? Yessir! These cats were sampling EVERYTHING! Check the clips. A couple dope joints where the beat keeps switching up. Just check 'em. I can go on and on about this record.

Death - Possessed By The Ouija Board (Side A)
Side A:
Death Stro
Night Deamon
Life As A Psycho
Possessed (Daytime)
Crazy Nigah
Just My Imagination

Death - Possessed By The Ouija Board (Side B)
Side B:
Too Much Bass
Murder Madness
F--kin With A Lunatic
Possessed (Nightime)
Ya'll Need To Understand

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Dangerouz Waters - NYCPD

Again, very little info about these dudes, so that's why I'm posting it. Real Player's uk site (wtf) has this info, "A duo repping for the Bronx and Harlem, Jai-Hi and Charlie Waters serve up catchy joints sure to get the club crowd moving. Crisp, trebly beats and strong keyboards back their sharp, back-and-forth flows that address street shadiness, party vibes, and playa skills. "NYCPD" is definitely a catchy beat and that's the main reason I'm posting. It was released promo only by MCA Records in 1998. Not many people know about it, but those that do aren't letting it go for cheap either. Also, they have an album, Step In The Club, released in 1999 by Blackhorse Enterprise Records. Nice cover art. :/

Enjoy the track plus the instrumental.

Dangerouz Waters - NYCPD

Dangerouz Waters - NYCPD (Instrumental)

Raw Footage - The Final Call / Stay Tuned

The crew is Raw Footage and I believe this is their only release. As you can see, the label gives ya nothing. I think it was released in '97 or '98, but on the B-side they preface the first verse with "for the '96 shot. Pressed up by the New Jersey Electronic label, SOM Underground. Sub-label is EMO. The dope intro sets it off with a nice verse over a simple smooth beat. "The Final Call" was one of my favorite mixtapes joints at the time. "Last days/Illuminati" rap is the flavor. Goes well with a copy of Behold a Pale Horse. On a Boogiemonsters type tip. On the flip, they're calling out fake mc, Versace wearing, John Gotti wannabes. Also, what could be a reference to the Boot Camp Clik on "Stay Tuned".

You came to play in the game of last days
For all frauds
Actin all hard from Punktown
Thinkin' they the shit now
Fuck all the drama
Some n*ggas pack armor to regulate
These falsified mindstates
Of these rappers who think they're gunclappers and criminals
But that lifestyle is minimal

Perhaps, referencing "Bucktown" home of the Originoo Gun Clappaz? That verse was penned in '96, so it would be around the time that BCC was making noise. Then again, it could be aimed at anyone, as this was the flavor of so many underground records being released at that time.

Jersey heads, any info on these dudes? And who did the beats!? Holler!

Raw Footage - Intro

Raw Footage - The Final Call

Raw Footage - Stay Tuned

Harlem High Records - Downlow "Hands On Ya Pumpz" / "Buddah Nation" feat. Downlow, Zhigge, Figures Of Speech, Ghetto Dwellers & Nadine

Another mid-90's sleeper, off of Harlem High Records. Downlow repping Brooklyn are taking no shorts on this 12". They run all over this hot beat produced by Milo Johnson with the familiar Cypress Hill sample in the hook. UK connection as Milo Johnson/DJ Milo is an OG member of Massive Attack and The Wild Bunch. I've got a "Friends & Countrymen" 12" lying around here somewhere from The Wild Bunch and it's a dope joint, so it's not surprising he laced these cats from NYC. On the double A-side were hit with a ridiculous posse cut, "Buddah Nation." They expound about joys of puffing trees. Reminds me of college. They smoke this track (lame pun intended) for nearly 6 minutes. Another head nodder. Engineered by old school hip hop pioneer, Brooklyn's own Cutmaster DC and a dude named Greg. Mixed at D & D Studios. BLAZIN'! (another lame pun :)

Downlow - Hands On Ya Pumpz

Buddah Nation feat. Downlow, Zhigge, Figures Of Speech, Ghetto Dwellers & Nadine

Friday, October 12, 2007

DFC - Digga Bigga Ditch (Remixes by Evil D & DJ Slip)

I had to leave New York with this one and take you over to Flint, Michigan, where DFC calls home. Some of you may be familiar with DFC as he's the same cat (I always thought it was a crew) who ran with MC Breed. I copped this 12" off the strength of the Evil D remix. I wonder how that came about? Perhaps, the connection with Big Beat and the Beatminerz's presence on the Artifacts second album? Rob "Reef" Tewlow mixed this 12" and was invloved with the Artifacts as the Executive Producer on both LP's and also produced the "Art of Scratch (Intro)" on their second album. Released in 1994 on Big Beat / Assault Records. It appears that DJ Slip handled the original production and then remixed it adding a piano and smoothing it out some. I'm giving you the original which is stripped down and more RAW. But, I'll bless you with a piano courtesy of the Beatminerz's Evil D. Dig it!

DFC - Digga Bigga Ditch (Original)

DFC - Digga Bigga Ditch (Evil D Remix)

DNA - Bronx Criminal County / 2 Ounces & A Dream / My Shit Iz Tight

Blessing you with another Bronx BANGER! Very little is known about this group, DNA (Devon, Noah, Allah). JR Ewing gave them some shine on one of his mixes and for good reason. This a seriously dope record released by Red Zone Recordings. A definitive mid-late 90's indie/underground NYC 12". All three tracks are ill. On the A Side, "Bronx Criminal County" is produced by Garth "Dread" Mitchell. On the hook, Havoc's "criminal mind thirsty for recognition" is sampled.

The B-Side comes at you with "2 Ounces & A Dream" featuring Boo & Reality of Hedkrak. Dudes are rapping about coming up in the dope game. Nice piano. Was anything ever released by the Hedkrak crew? They round out things with "My Shit Iz Tight." The subject matter is self explanatory. And another smokin' beat. Production on this side is handled by, I believe, the artist themselves, D. Gray & N. Tillman for DNA FUNCTION and M. Marcelle for SPADES Entertainment. Recorded and mixed at Da Cave, which also sounds familiar.

On a side note, are there two 12"s released by this crew? I've also seen on want lists this same record, yet a track "Nowhere to Run" replaces "2 Ounces & A Dream" and the date is 1997. On the Bronx Criminal County intro they call out '96. Just wondering.

DNA - Bronx Criminal County

DNA - 2 Ounces & A Dream
What I believed was crackle is simply the piano sample. Heh.

DNA - My Shit Iz Tight

Troubleneck Brothers - Release Me EP

Online info tells me that this EP was released in 1994, but my record sleeve says 1993. Bronx natives the Troubleneck Brothers are most commonly known for their CLASSICS "Back to Hip Hop" or "Troubleneck Wreck," both of which had videos on BET. They released a few singles on StepSun Entertainment only to fade into obscurity due to label politricks. A familiar story with a lot of dope hip hop from the era. These cats were RUGGED & RAW. My pick is the title track "Release Me" (the Gunslingers) which sets the EP off with that familiar grimey & gritty sound. The "streets is real, gotta stay strapped" is the message here. "85 Live" slows it down as they reflect on their youth. Another great track.

On the flip you're hit with "But I'm A Lax" a track which is a tribute to their deceased brothers and those still maintaining in the hood surviving the game. They're stressing to remain calm rather than get hyped about nonsense. Reminds me of some DJ Quik production from the same era. Smooth stuff. Everyday it's the same ol' thing, cause I don't know what the next day might bring (But, I'ma Lax) I wanna rest my head, before I end up dead. "862" is another laid back track. I believe 862 is the block they grew up on in the Bronx and they're showing love to their brothers from around the way.

Another hard one to track down right here. Promo only. These dudes have been labeled "East Coast Hardcore" by many so it's nice to see 'em slow it down a bit on this. Still, the joint here for me is the upbeat BANGER "Release Me." Makes me wanna body someone. WHAT! WHAT! ;)

Troubleneck Brothers - Release Me

Troubleneck Brothers - 85 Live

Troubleneck Brothers - But I'm A Lax

Troubleneck Brothers - 862

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Earplay Entertainment EP

Pressed up in 1996 by Earplay Entertainment out of Brooklyn, this may be their first and only release. The intro by Oliver Twist repping BX is way too short, but utilizes a familiar sample and instantly validates the officialness of this record. After that, Khenya steps up with some r&b crap. NEXT! The final joint on side A is a track that some of you may have heard, HitMan's "Die 4 My Iggaz." Coming from Brooklyn, he's letting cats know that he's down for his team and not droppin' dime on his fam. On the B side we get a female mc, Dezert Storm, boasting a familiar steez; a woman that's about lyrics rather than material items. I skip over most female mc's, but "Operation Dezert Storm" is brief and she runs over the track nicely. Strictly Homicidal ends it on a high note letting dudes know they're out for the cream on "Just Imagin'." Check the flute and the whistle that comes in every so often. Smokin'!

One of the biggest surprises about this 12" is the production. DOPE BEATS! All songs are produced and mixed by CINQUE Coleman with co-production credits going to Akin "Ock" Jackson on the Khenya joint.

Oliver Twist - Earplay Intro

HitMan - Die 4 My Iggaz

Operation Dezert Storm - Dezert Storm feat. CINQUE

Strictly Homicidal - Just Imagin'

Holler at me with any info or drop a line and let me know if you're diggin' it. Peace.